Patience paid off for Strap Marks (NZ) when he emerged from the wilderness to win a 1200m maiden at Kranji on Friday.
Sent straight to the front from an inside barrier, the 5yo gelding stacked up the speed and cornered with a full head of stream to score by more than two lengths. It confirmed the potential he had shown trainer Stephen Gray before being sidelined 18 months ago.
Strap Marks is a Singapore-based son of in-form sire Jimmy Choux (NZ) who is now based at Roselee Park in WA. He sustained a fractured pelvis in a barrier trial in October 2017 and, despite a guarded prognosis from vets after surgery, responded to plenty of TLC during a long spell in Malaysia.
Gray could barely wait to ring his owners with the good news. He’s a homebred for Trelawney Stud’s Brent and Cherry Taylor from NZ stakes winner Dominatrix (Marauding).
“This race may have been only worth $20,000 but it means a lot to us sentimentally,” Gray revealed. “We always knew he had ability. Glen Boss told us he was a good horse before the injury.
“The plan was to go forward tonight and he won a nice race. Brent and Cherry originally had the horse with Donna Logan in New Zealand. He was sold to Hong Kong but failed the vet test because of a chip in the knee and then came to me.”
Jimmy Choux (NZ) has been on a career-best winning curve since transferring from New Zealand to WA in April. He sired the winners of 11 races in May headed by The Bostonian who claimed a Group 1 double in the Doomben 10,000 and BTC Cup.
His Melbourne-based sprinter Manolo Blahniq (NZ) is due to win more black-type after a last-start fourth in the LR Straight Six (1200m) at Flemington on May 25. He won the LR Chester Manifold at headquarters in January.
Jimmy Choux (NZ) stands for a $4,500 (plus GST) service fee at Roselee Park alongside Vital Equine (Ire) who is priced at $4,400 (inc GST).